Would you be willing to go to the Dark Side to get ahead in your career?
I’m not just talking to the professional Jedis out there. According to researchers, people who are adept at climbing the corporate ladder also tend to display some level of certain traits known as the “Dark Triad”: manipulativeness, narcissism and an antisocial personality.
I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t these the types of people we normally try to avoid at all costs?
It’s true that those who display full-blown cases of these characteristics are more likely to alienate their colleagues than rub elbows with them. But in less extreme cases, the Dark Triad can actually help you win friends and influence people, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Here’s the analysis:
Manipulators, also known as Machiavellians, at their worst, are those who influence others for their own gain and tend to be deceptive in order to get their desired results. But they are also skilled negotiators, charismatic leaders and good politicians.
Narcissists like all eyes on them, and use their charm and appearance to raise their status. But they also tend to make a good first impression (which makes them especially attractive to hiring managers) and, because they are assertive and like to pitch their own ideas, are often chosen for their “management potential.”
Those with an antisocial personality are described as lacking empathy for others. But they are also creative thinkers who are willing to push boundaries.
Does that mean you have to let loose your inner bad guy in order to get ahead? Not necessarily.
While it’s helpful to learn how people with dark personality traits use them to their advantage, the article points out that, over time, these folks’ careers tend to unravel—eventually, co-workers come to view them as arrogant and problematic, and more interested in short-term advancement than a company’s long-term success.